Well, Arduino UNO is known as the most popular Arduino board, and follow behind is is Arduino Mega. The reasons are:
- 5V powered and operated, as Arduino UNO too and a lot of interface, sensors, output devices are still 5V.
- 54 digital IO pins versus 14 digital IO pins on UNO, there are 40 extra digital IO pin compared to Arduino UNO :)
- 15 PWM pins versus 6 only on UNO, 9 extra on Mega :)
- 16 Analog inputs versus 6 only analog inputs on UNO.
- 256KByte of Flash (program memory) versus 32KByte only on UNO, 8 times more memory!
- It is Arduino UNO shield compatible, at least 95% of shield will still works on Arduino Mega.
- There are both 8-bit microcontroller and uses same architecture, so most of the sketches (codes) for Arduino UNO will work on Arduino Mega.
- You can still use Arduino IDE for writing program and program loading :)
Now with this low cost version of Mega compatible with CH340 (USB to UART chip), you have more reasons to get this board instead of UNO :). And Mega compatible board is fully compatible with Arduino Mega2560 R3, yes R3. Basically, the changes that you might notice is the CH340 driver, which you can download and install from here: Windows, Mac OS, Linux (pre-installed). Other than that, everything is compatible, the shields, the sketches.
Arduino is an open-source physical computing platform based on a simple i/o board and a development environment that implements the Processing/Wiring language. Arduino can be used to develop stand-alone interactive objects or can be connected to software on your computer (e.g. Flash, Processing, MaxMSP). The open-source IDE can be downloaded for free (currently support Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux).
The Arduino Mega is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega2560. It has 54 digital input/output pins (of which 14 can be used as PWM outputs), 16 analog inputs, 4 UARTs (hardware serial ports), running with the speed of 16 MHz crystal oscillator, an USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header, and a reset button. It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a USB cable or power it with a AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started.
- Microcontroller: ATmega2560
- Operating Voltage: 5VDC
- Input Voltage (recommended): 7-12V through DC jack
- Input Voltage (limits): 6-20V through DC jack
- Digital I/O Pins: 54 (of which 14 provide PWM output)
- Analog Input Pins: 16
- DC Current per I/O Pin: 40 mA
- DC Current for 3.3V Pin: 50 mA
- Flash Memory: 256 KB of which 8 KB used by bootloader
- SRAM: 8 KB
- EEPROM: 4 KB
- Clock Speed: 16 MHz
- CH340 as USB to UART IC
- USB B type socket for USB power and interface
- Getting Started with Arduino - UNO, good for 1st time user.
- Arduino tutorial with more than 10 projects, source code, schematic is there.
- CH34X driver (Please ensure this Mega board is plug in to computer USB port during driver installation)
- 1 x Mega Compatible board
- 1 x USB B type USB cable